Ever heard of a T-Stud? If you haven’t, then you probably haven’t researched framing a house in the last few years. Read on to find out more about T-Studs.
Tee Stud? T-Stud?
Most houses in the US are framed out with 2×4 or 2×6 lumber. These are strong and proven, but they have problems. A T-Stud (pronounced “tee stud”) are trussed studs, basically a type of manufactured wood that has two exterior members which are joined in some way. They are somewhat reminiscent of a wooden I-beam, but the name doesn’t reflect the shape.
What Is A T-Stud?
A T-Stud generally is a piece of lumber that combines two 2×3 pieces of wood (on the flat) with a series of wooden dowels. The dowels truss the 2x3s making for a combined piece of wood that is the same size as a 2×6. The 2×3 are all number 2 grade.
Some T-Studs are “bare,” which means they just have dowels between them, while others use closed-cell foam insulation.
Because they inherently have holes in them, T-Studs are ideal for running wires through. No drilling required!
Why Use T-Studs?
T-Studs are interchangeable with other framing-quality “2 by” lumber, so why use them? One of the main reasons to do so is because of thermal bridging. Thermal bridging is what happens then the temperture outside your home directly transfers to inside the home, circumventing your insulation, because of a bridge between the two. Such a bridge has to be solid — like a 2×4 or 2×6 piece of wood. With studs making up something like 25% of the surface areas of a wall in many homes, that’s a lot of area that can be bridged.
Some newer homes will use insulated panels to cut down on thermal bridging, but this practice isn’t common as it’s expensive and an extra step.
A 2×6 has an R value of about 7 where insulation has an R value of, say, 19. This means you want less framing for a warmer home.
A T-Studs Strong?
Yes, they are quite strong. In fact, using T-Studs you can put your wall studs at 24-inch spacing instead of a more standard 16-inch spacing. This means less wood, more insulation, and a whole lot less thermal bridging.
T-Studs are OK to use as headers, but also plates and even posts.